Bennell Way – Writers’ Retreat


Bennell Way – Writers’ Retreat 


A new intervention in the rear garden of a historic Bennell house is more than just a simple garden shed. Measuring just six metres by four metres, it features bespoke steel-framed, glazed windows and an inlaid, exposed aggregate concrete floor, transforming what was once an unhealthy, introverted, cold residence into a happy home. The little room was inspired by George Bernard Shaw’s writing retreat, and is now Jamie and Seonaids’ place to relax, switch off, listen to music, and get some sun (which, like George, they found they were dearly missing) while contemplating their beautiful garden.

The design follows a few key heritage strategies – new is not confused with old, form and scale are respectful, and points of attachment are clearly articulated. These simple gestures make more of less, with no fuss, and allow a heritage building to sensitively accommodate renewed joy and delight for a happy home on Bennell Way.


Birrelli art+design+architecture

Practice Team

Design architect – Jack Birrell

Senior architect – Lynden Jones

Graduate of architecture – Felix Blackman

Graduate of architecture – Toby MacElwaine


Principal builders – Aaron Nicholls, Mark Hawksley, Branden Lee

Builders – Nicholls Construction

Engineer – Alan Leake

Photographer – Nina Hamilton






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